Enron Exec Richard Causey Heads to Prison

Richard Causey is the last of 16 executives from Enron to plead guilty to crimes related to the collapse of the energy trading firm. And for his role in the commission of those crimes Causey was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison. Causey was the chief accounting officer for Enron.

More than 5,000 jobs and $1 billion in employee pensions were wiped out when Enron collapsed. Investors are suing to recover more than $30 billion.

I don’t think they’ll come even close to getting that money back, but hey at least it will keep the attorneys employed for the next several years.

Causey was assigned to the prison he requested. Bastrop is three hours from his home in Houston, where Enron was based, and 30 miles from Austin, where the oldest of his three children attends college.

The Bastrop prison has a low-security section, surrounded by a razor-wire-topped double fence, and an unfenced minimum-security camp. Authorities would not say which one Causey is assigned to. With time off for good behavior, he can expect to serve four years and nine months.

Causey will be assigned a job such as groundskeeping or kitchen work, paying 12 to 40 cents an hour. He can apply for a job that pays 23 cents to $1.15 an hour in a prison factory that retrofits vehicles for the government, said Michael Truman, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

I find it rather ironic that Causey will be working for such small amounts considering the financial damage he has done and the lives he has ruined. He did forfeit $1.25 million in illegal gains from working at Enron. Seems rather paltry considering the impact of what he and the other Enron executives did.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.


  1. Mark says:

    He did forfeit $1.25 million in illegal gains from working at Enron

    Do you know how much they estimate him to have left over to enjoy when he gets out in about 5 years?

  2. Well the hourly rate may be low, but don’t forget the room and board is thrown in for free.

    And gardening, kitchen work or refurbishing state vehicles is a lot nicer than the cotton fields.

  3. Beldar says:

    The investors who are suing are, of course, not expecting to collect from Enron’s former officers, most of whom are tapped out now (except for exempt assets protected from judicial seizure under the homestead laws). They’re going after the deep pockets — meaning every other corporation who can be accused of having “facilitated” Enron’s activities: its commercial and investment bankers, its lawyers, its deal partners, and even its customers. Some of these bystanders may be less innocent than others; presumably the settlement amounts or, failing that, trial results will reflect their responsibility to some degree. But they’ll also reflect how deep their pockets are, and how risk-averse and publicity-shy.

    You’re right, though — the litigation will generate lots of legal fees.